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DOE to Provide up to $19 Million for Research Projects on Plug-Ins, EVs and Fuel Cell Vehicles

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected five next-generation vehicle research projects which will receive up to $19 million in DOE funding to further the development of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).

Combined with industry’s cost share, projects selected for negotiation of awards total $33.8 million (FY’07-’10).  The five projects support advanced power electronics and electric motor technologies to help bring advanced PHEV, HEV, and FCV applications to market.

Projects will focus on reducing the cost, weight, and size of electric drive and power conversion devices while also increasing vehicle efficiency.  Selected projects focus on advancing research on four areas: high-temperature three-phase inverters; high-speed motors; integrated traction drive systems and; bi-directional DC/DC converters.

Selected projects are as follows:

  • Delphi Automotive Systems in Troy, Michigan, has been selected for negotiation of an award of up to $4.9 million for high-temperature three-phase inverter research.  Three-phase inverters control and regulate the speed of electric motors.  Other team members include Dow Corning, GE Global Research, GeneSiC, Argonne National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University of Blacksburg, Virginia, has been selected for negotiation of an award of up to $1.7 million for a project that will focus on developing an advanced softswitching inverter for reducing switching and power losses.  Other team members include Azure Dynamics, Powerex, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

  • General Electric Global Research of Niskayuna, New York, has been selected for negotiation of an award of up to $3.4 million for work on developing high-speed electric motors.  Specifically, this work will focus on increasing the traction motor drive power density and efficiency at reduced costs for PHEVs, HEVs and FCVs by developing an electric motor of at least 55kW peak power and capable of high speed operation – with a goal of at least 14,000 revolutions per minute (RPM).  Team members include GE Motors and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

  • General Motors Corporation in Torrance, California, has been selected for negotiation of an award of up to $7.9 million for development of a combined traction motor and power electronic inverter for PHEV, HEV, and FCV.  This aims to lower the cost, weight, and package volume, and increase efficiency.  Team members include Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Ames National Laboratory, Arnold Magnetics, Encap Technologies, Isothermal Systems Research, and AVX.

  • US Hybrid Corporation of Torrance, California, has been selected for an award of up to $1.3 million for a bi-directional DC/DC converter for PHEVs.  This work will include a vehicle system study to determine the optimum operating battery and DC-link voltages, allowing for higher efficiency and lower costs.  Team members include University of Illinois, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and SiC


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19 millions can do that many things? Thats efficient, my country can spend nearly twice of that on just checking goverment buildings...

Cheryl Ho

There are developments in DME in China today:
Since DME has an advantage of decomposition at lower temperature than methane and LPG, R&D for hydrogen source for fuel cell has been carried out.

If you would like to know more on the latest DME developments, join us at upcoming North Asia DME / Methanol conference in Beijing, 27-28 June 2007, St Regis Hotel. The conference covers key areas which include:

DME productivity can be much higher especially if
country energy policies makes an effort comparable to
that invested in increasing supply.
National Development Reform Commission NDRC
Ministry of Energy for Mongolia

Production of DME/ Methanol through biomass
gasification could potentially be commercialized
Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and
will be sharing their experience.

Advances in conversion technologies are readily
available and offer exciting potential of DME as a
chemical feedstock
By: Kogas, Lurgi and Haldor Topsoe

Available project finance supports the investments
that DME/ Methanol can play a large energy supply role
By: International Finance Corporation

For more information:


More money for research when Tesla motors can pull parts together from various sources and put an electric sports car together, now. Seems to me that we know how to build hybrid electric vehicles, they are called diesel/electric locomotives. They handle extreme loads and power requirements, all driven by electronics and electric motors with a diesel engine to generate the electricity. The companies that build the locomotives understand electric motors, inverters and controllers. Why arn't we asking them how it's done and just scale it down to car size/power requirements. How about applying what we know now and start building the cars.

Reseach is fine for improving products, let's get something on the road to improve!!


These may be projects that can not get internal funding, but are good to do to advance the knowledge in their areas.

This is really a small amount of money, but it could make some significant contributions in at least a few areas.

richard Rosenthal

19 million? Folks this is pocket change. Considering what a EV transportation system could do for American prosperity, qualty of life and security I would suggest we consider our investment in the tens of billions. If we got to grease the palms of industry and entice consumers as a means to a ends then lets do it. Also energy production and the supergrid. Everyone generates electricity on rooftops, conservation, mass electric storage, windpower, wave power, H2 production(not from fossil fuels) these all can be spawned using a national investment program. It is true that we will screw the rich with investments in the oil companies and detroit but it has always been a free country and they had the first opportunity and government handouts to change to an efficient electric future.

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